Karipur: A total of 648 missing cases have been reported at various police stations in Kerala during 2012 to 2017. The actual number will be much higher since most of them go unreported.
The figure came up following a preliminary probe conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA has initiated a comprehensive probe as the man missing cases lead to widespread concerns if these people have joined the Islamic State (IS).
Among the 648 who went missing, 297 are women. The state police have failed to trace out them in their investigation. The number of Malayalees camped at Syria and Afghanistan remains still unclear.
The officials had earlier thought that only 22 people, who went missing from Kasaragod, Kannur and Palakkad districts, had joined the IS. However, the latest report that 14 Keralites were killed in Syria has made the NIA to take a relook at the figures.
Kannur-native Shajahan, who was arrested for suspected IS links, has revealed that over 18 Keralites are still in the frontline of fight for the IS. According to NIA, there can be more than 80 Malayalees in the IS.
According to NIA, there can be two circumstances for the missing cases. Firstly, they may have reached IS camps in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Another chance is that they might sentenced for death after being convicted for drug trafficking in Gulf countries. Since most of them use fake passports, the relatives get no information about them.
It was reported that IS terrorist Shafi Armar from Karnataka, who was killed in suicide bombing, had recruited people to IS from Kerala.